top of page
  • Writer's pictureLena Claeys

Kotor, Montenegro: A Travel Guide To Montenegro's Most Popular Town

Updated: Mar 16

Kotor is a medieval town located in a secluded corner of the stunning Bay of Kotor. It’s the most popular place to visit in all of Montenegro for a good reason. Once you step foot inside the old town, it’s hard to resist its charm. Kotor is the best-preserved old town in Montenegro with lots of influences from the Venetian empire, which ruled here for nearly 400 years. It’s also surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery, consisting of limestone cliffs and crystal clear water. In this article, we’ll break down the most important things to know before you go, the best places to stay, the best restaurants and bars, and the 10 best things to do in and around Kotor that will keep you busy for at least 2 to 3 days.

kotor things to do


Check out our video on Kotor to see the best things to do through our camera!

Table Of Contents

Important Things To Know

Best time to travel to Kotor

The best time to visit Kotor is from May to October. Though the summer months are hot and more crowded.

Cost and currency

Kotor is one of the most expensive places in Montenegro but still an affordable travel destination compared to other European destinations. Keep in mind that the restaurants are generally not cheap. So if you're looking to save as much money as possible while traveling the country, consider buying food from grocery stores and cooking your own meals. Accommodations and activities are more affordable.

Safety in Kotor

Kotor is a safe travel destination. You do need to watch out for pickpocketers just as in every popular travel destination.

Where To Stay In Kotor

  • Casa del Sole Lux: This is where we stayed. The host is lovely and we had a fully-equipped kitchen. But it's a bit outside the town center so only book this place if you have a rental car.

  • Katareo Apartments: cozy apartments in the old town, the perfect location!

Where To Eat And Drink

  • La Catedral Pasta Bar: delicious Italian pastas at a good price

  • Old Winery Wine Bar: best for wine tastings

  • BBQ Tanjga: great budget option with tasty food

Best Things To Do In Kotor

If you're traveling to Kotor and want to save time searching for directions to all of the places we mention in this article, then look no further than our custom map. Simply click on a point in the map below to get directions there for yourself!

Let's now jump into the 10 best things to do in Kotor!

10. Explore the old town (stari grad)

Your visit to Kotor will most likely begin in the Old Town, or Stari Grad, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can wander the maze of narrow streets and simply enjoy the architecture. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, this old town has a lot of character. From its decorated gates, to its orthodox and catholic churches, cozy squares, and Venetian palaces, every corner holds a story. The best way to learn about Kotor’s fascinating history is by going on a guided tour.

stari grad kotor
A church and square in the beautiful old town

9. Walk the city walls

After exploring the old town of Kotor, it’s time to climb up the city walls that encircle it. Covering about 4.5 kilometers or 3 miles, these thick walls were built to protect the town, which was an important naval and trading center. Today, the walls are crumbling in some sections and it isn’t possible to walk all the way around the Old Town like in the nearby old town of Dubrovnik. But there are still several parts that you can easily access, such as the South Gate (Gurdić Bastion) and the Kampana Tower. In fact, the walls that front the bay are fairly wide, flat, and straightforward.

city walls kotor
South Gate

8. Visit a museum

The old town of Kotor is home to a few interesting museums, such as the Cats Museum and the Maritime Museum. We visited the latter one, which celebrates the naval history of Kotor with a collection of photographs, paintings, uniforms, decorated weapons and models of ships. The museum is housed in a wonderful old palace, adding to the intrigue. The entrance fee when we were there was only 4 Euros, which included an audio guide.

7. Watch the sunset from the fortress

Above Kotor’s city walls, you can find old St. John’s fortress (also named Castle of Giovanni). It’s about 280 meters or 918 feet above the town and you’ll have to walk 1,350 steps to get there. And while the castle ramparts itself are interesting, it’s the panoramic view of the Bay of Kotor that makes this hike truly rewarding. The best time to visit is in the early morning or an hour or two before sunset as it’s generally a bit cooler and the light is best for pictures. Find the trail entrance behind the Church of St. Mary Collegiate.

St. John’s fortress sunset kotor
sunset over the Bay of Kotor

6. Cool down at Kotor beach

On a hot summer day, there’s no better place to cool down than the beach. Kotor doesn’t have any long beaches, but small ones are scattered around the bay. The closest one is Kotor Beach, which can be found right outside the old town. But keep in mind that there are many cruise ships and boats sailing around here so the water could be a bit polluted! Alternatively, head to Orahovac or Bajova Kula beach on the way to Perast.

beach kotor

5. Try Montenegrin wine

Kotor’s old town is filled with a variety of charming restaurants and bars where you can sample the local cuisine and wine. Some bars offer wine tastings where you can try indigenous Vranac wine, which is made of a black-skinned variety of grapes that are native to mountainous Montenegro. These wines are dense and produce a deep-colored red wine. We recommend the Old Winery Wine Bar near the entrance to the fort.

Montenegrin wine kotor
Zac trying out the Vranac wine!

4. Explore nearby Perast

The Bay of Kotor is dotted with picturesque villages, but nearby Perast might be the most charming one. Located only a 20-minute drive from Kotor, this tiny town is home to Venetian-era palaces, churches, and squares. It’s a joy to just walk the main street along the waterfront and admire the beautiful architecture here. You only need a few hours to take in the romantic atmosphere. But allow a half day if you’re planning to go on a boat tour to the nearby islands (Our Lady of the Rocks & St. George Island). Check out our Montenegro video to find more interesting places to visit in the Bay of Kotor and around the entire country.

perast kotor montenegro
In the back you can see both Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George Island